Thursday, March 26, 2015

Orlando Weekend Preview: March 27th - 29th, 2015

Photo by Jeff Krause
Weekend Events

If you're never been to a rodeo, here's your chance: This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee hosts the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo. Times vary; tickets start at $15. 

Friday, March 27th

What has two wheels and is happening at 5:35pm this Friday? You on a bike! Check out this month's Orlando Critical Mass ride, starting at Loch Haven Park and looping all around the city. 

This Friday at 7:00pm, the Swimwear Fashion Show at Gilt features Florida-designed swimwear, a DJ, an open bar, passed hors d'oeuvres (7:00-8:00pm), and it all benefits the Pediatric Cancer Foundation. Tickets start at $15, or bring a friend take advantage of the 2-4-1 deal. 

The Hourglass Brewery in Longwood is hosting a free, all-ages show this Friday with Mutilation Rites, Mantar, Mindscar, and Ad Nauseum. (I'll let you guess what kind of music it is.) 

Saturday, March 28th

Rise and bike, Orlando! Join the Orlando Together Bike Rally and Parade this Saturday at 9:00am. The bike tour starts at Downtown Credo and culminates in a float-building contest and parade at Z L Riley Park.

Starting at 10:00am this Saturday, the Hannibal Square Heritage Center Folk and Urban Art Festival features local and national artists, their processes, and their work, accompanied by live music and great food.

Up in Casselberry, check out the Spring Jazz and Art Festival, this Saturday from 6:00 to 9:00pm at Lake Concord Park. 

If you haven't seen the latest Snap! Space exhibit, Structure & Perspective, then definitely check it out this Saturday at 3:00pm during the Artist Panel Discussion (and even more so if you've seen the art and want to learn more). It's a free event, but be sure to RSVP.

Possible Fest takes the best of The Falcon's weekly Possible Mic open mic night and puts them all together in one show, which is happening this Saturday at 7:00pm.

Also this Saturday at 7:00pm is The Scene Alternative Hip-Hop Music & Art Festival, with live performances, live graffiti artists, and plenty of merchandise; tickets are $10. 

Sunday, March 29th

For a racy take on your favorite Disney characters, check out The Princess and the Pastie burlesque show. It's at The Venue this Sunday at 8:00pm (Saturday's show is already sold out) and tickets start at $20.

Every Sunday, downtown Orlando is taken over by brunchers, Sunday-funday-ers, and yogis. Check out the Orlando Farmers Market from 10:00am to 4:00pm and Yoga in Lake Eola Park at 11:00am. 

What are you up to this weekend, Orlando? Leave a comment!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Weekend Preview: March 20th - 22nd, 2015

Photo via Orlando Sentinel
Weekend Events

The Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival takes over Central Park this Friday through Sunday. In additional to approximately one million art vendors, be on the lookout for beer gardens, kids' activities, and live music. Oh, and don't forget to take SunRail to get there (see schedule), which is running for free this Saturday and Sunday!

Yes, it's 25 miles from Downtown. Yes, the website is written entirely in Comic Sans. Still, Fort Christmas Park is one of my personal favorites in Central Florida. This weekend, make the trek for the Fort Christmas Bluegrass and Craft Festival, with live music (obvs.), BBQ, homemade ice cream, and camps. Bring a lawn chair! Saturday and Sunday, 10:00am to 4:00pm. 

Friday, March 20th

House of Blues is hosting another edition of Orlando Rocks, featuring four bands: The Dropa Stone, The Passenger, FunkUs, and Ancient Sun. Tickets are $8; all ages; doors at 7:30pm. 

"Zombies invade the Australian Outback." I'll admit, I stopped reading there, because that's all I need to know. Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead is showing at The Enzian this Friday (and Saturday!) at midnight; tickets are $7.50 - $10. 

Saturday, March 21st

Rise and shine! This Saturday at 9:30am, Orlando Bike Tours is hosting its second event, Coffe Crawl. Tickets start at $20 and include a ride to three local coffee houses/roasters guided by Jimmy Sherfey. (Yes, the same Mr. Sherfey who wrote about Daybreak Coffee and Vespr right here on our little blog.) 

It's the third Saturday, and that means it's time for another Vintage Faire & Flea Market, hosted by the Orlando Elks (7:15am to 3:00pm). Meanwhile, Spring into Spring is a great way to explore Artegon with live jazz, free snacks and wine, and local artists' shops (6:00 to 8:00pm). 

If you follow local happenings, you've no doubt heard about the potential development that could happen on the city-run-but-privately-owned park in downtown's South Eola neighborhood. Show the City and the property owners that you want this piece of land and its historic oaks to stay a park at this Saturday's Save the Live Oaks at Constitution Green Rally & Picnic

Wee-woo wee-woo: Lit event alert! This year's first Functionally Literate is happening at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center this Saturday at 7:00pm. It's free and features readers Ellen Datlow, Pat Rushin, and Teege Braune (info on them is on the event page!), as well as book signings, everyone's favorite mini-bookstore Bookmark It, and beer/wine for purchase. 

The search for Orlando Philharmonic's next Music Director is on! Check out one of the finalists, Leslie B. Dunner, as he conducts Rimma Plays Sibelius this Saturday at 8:00pm; tickets are $20. 

Sunday, March 22nd

So, I'm still not entirely sure what Joe's NYC Bar is, but it's happening again this Sunday at 3:00pm and I'm intrigued. Tickets are $16.

Don't forget: The Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival and the Fort Christmas Bluegrass and Craft Festival are still going on this weekend.

Leave a comment and tell us what you're up to this weekend!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Weekend Preview: March 13th - 15th, 2015

By Luis Lazo, on display at Snap! Space Structure & Perspective
Weekend Events

Did anyone say Acro Cats?! This is the last weekend they'll be in Orlando, so grab your tickets for a show this Thursday through Sunday.

Lads and lassies, listen up. Raglan Road is back with its annual Mighty St. Patrick's Day Festival, going on this weekend through Tuesday with tons of live music and dancing, as well as drink specials.

Friday, March 13th

This Friday, check out the March Conductor Crawl with a new and improved ride to Winter Park. This is a free event, but check out one of the new passes for a worry-free night. We'll see you at Kasa at 6:00pm!

Insight is an exhibition by the Orlando Camera Club, happening this Friday at Jai Gallery. Starting at 6:00pm, the gallery comes alive with photos, music, and a cash bar. 

IDEAS For Us presents Eco-Film: Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition, this Friday at 6:30pm. Tickets are $15 and include some mingling, music, and snacks followed by a screening and discussion with the director and other local experts. 

A new exhibit, Structure & Perspective, is opening this Friday at Snap! Space. Hang out with over a dozen of the show's artists while sipping on fancy drinks by Courtesy and enjoying tunes from DJ Nigel. This is a free event, but be sure to RSVP

Saturday, March 14th

Happy π day! It also happens to be the day of Nerd Nite Orlando's 2-Year Anniversary. To celebrate, presenters are joined this time by trivia, contests (pie and otherwise), music, magic, and drinks. Tickets are $10 presale or $15 at the door. 

Beer is the motto at The Downtown Brew this Saturday from 4:00 to 8:00pm, when Church Street and iHeart Radio team up to give you unlimited beer samples, food vendors, and DJs. Tickets are $20. 

Guys, spoil yourselves this Saturday at Cloak & Dapper's Shave the Day Pop Up Barber. Grab a complimentary beer and enjoy a quality straight-edge shave.

This one's for the East Orlando crowd: From 10:00am to 6:00pm, stop by Taste of Oviedo for lots of activities, circus acts, kids' stuff, and plenty of food and drink. Free!

If you're looking for us this Saturday between 2:00 and 8:00pm, we're probably at Acme Comics battling goblins at the D Adventuring Party. No experience (sorry, XP) necessary; $5. 

Come out and get sloshed appreciate local shops at Ivanhood's Virginia Drive Live with a beer tent, vendors, food trucks, and wine stroll ($15); 6:00 to 10:00pm.

Sunday, March 15th

Rise and shine, shoppers! The DeLand Indie Market is back this Sunday from 11:00am to 5:00pm at Artisan Alley. 

40 food trucks and only five awards? What is a truck to do? The free Food Truck Wars will figure it out, with tons of food, live music, beer garden, and more. It's happening this Sunday from noon to 6:00pm. 

This Sunday, let jazz vocalist Whitney James enchant you at the Timucua Whitehouse while mingling and browsing art by Nathalie Chikhi. Doors open at 7:00pm, free (donations accepted), and BYOB. 

What's going on in Orlando this weekend? Leave a comment below!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Orlando Weekend Preview: March 6th - 8th, 2015

Photo by Mark Thorstenson
Weekend Events

The Acro Cats cat circus. Known around the country. Includes the "Rock Cats" and all-cat rock band. Obviously we must all go. Various times this weekend and next, $20 (and worth every goddamn penny)

This is the last weekend of the Central Florida Fair. Times vary, tickets start at $10 for adults, $6 for kids.

Orlandoans cooking chili. And you get to sample it. One night of music and one day of chili at Orlando Chili Cook-Off and best of all- proceeds benefit Special Olympics Florida. Free concert Friday at 6:00, cook-off Saturday at noon. Tickets for cook-off  start at $10 for adults, $5 for kids.

Bikes, Tattoos, Music, Food trucks, pretty ladies, and beer. Saturday starts Orlando Harley's Bike Week: Swamp Stop.

It's time. Not a ballet-enthusiast? This is the show for you. It's time to see scantily-clad ballet dancers doing incredible things with their bodies for Orlando Ballet's Annual Battle of the Sexes show. Will you get hot and bothered for the first time in the Dr. Phillips Center? Yes. Will the fancy lady wearing the hat in the balcony also be fanning herself? You bet your ass she will be.

Friday, March 6th

With the big pub crawl this Saturday and an even bigger game this Sunday (both sold out!), start early with Soccer Under the Stars: Kicking and Screaming, Lake Eola Park, free with food trucks

Local author Nathan Holic joins this edition of Bookmart It's Wine & Sign, hear from his book Things I Don't See and enjoy a free wine sampling. Support your local writers and Orlando's independent book store!

Culture Pop: Clyde Butcher and the Pauses. This is not your ordinary exhibition opening. Nationally known, award-winning photographer Clyde Butcher’s series Nature’s Places of Spiritual Sanctuary will be kicking off Art31 this Friday at 6:30pm. A night of nature photography and live music, as well as readings, films, printmaking. Oh, and drinks and food by 4 Rivers. YES, PLZ.

Date Night at Leu Gardens, opens at 6:00pm, movie What If at 7:30pm; $6, free for members. Bring a blanket, dinner, and wine and grab your seats early!

Saturday, March 7th

Time to grow (or begin) your local art collection, Orlandoans! Head over to the Twelve21 Gallery Moving Sale from 10am - 2pm (oh, and free hot dogs after 12:00...)

It's time for your weekly dose of gyrating, oiled-up men at the Rock Hard Revue, Gilt Nightclub, $20, this Saturday at 7:00pm. Our suggestion? Hit up The Smiling Bison for dinner and drinks before you take the walk of shame to your guilty pleasure of the weekend (other than the Acro Cats).

First Saturdays mean Orlando Shuffle is on at 7:00pm, learn shuffleboard with some oldies and some hipsters- it is seriously an awesomely diverse group that shows up!

Sunday, March 8th

Well, they did it. Operation #fillthebowl was a success, selling out the 60,000-seat, newly renovated Citrus Bowl for Orlando City vs. New York City FC. If you're one of the unlucky 12 people who didn't get tickets I have one question for you- Why don't you love your city? (j/k there are folks who can't make it anymore selling their tix online- don't miss out!)

24th Annual Sunday in the Park, noon to 5:00pm, Dartmouth Park in College Park, Free but pony rides are extra... NO JOKE. PONIES.

And last, but not least, stop by the Winter Park Farmers Market before checking out Florida Bird Fest at Polasek from 1:00 to 4:00pm

What are you up to this weekend? Leave a comment below!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Orlando Weekend Preview: February 27th - March 1st, 2015

Weekend Events

This weekend kicks off Thursday with the start of the 2015 Central Florida Fair, which runs through March 8th. Bring a canned food item Thursday and get in for only $1 (and enjoy $1 rides all night); otherwise tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for kids.

Also starting this weekend is the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City, Florida. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids, and free for kids under 5. 

Friday, February 27th

"Together...we ARE traffic!" is the motto of Orlando Critical Mass, happening this Friday at 5:30pm at Loch Haven Park, with a prompt departure at 6:00pm. Bring a helmet and lights!

Phat-n-Jazzy turns 21 this Friday and they're bringing in DâM-FunK, ambassador of boogie funk (obviously), to celebrate. Check it out at 10:00pm at The Social; tickets start at $10.

Guest readers Frank Messina and Caitlin Doyle join Friday's Kerouac Open Mic Night, alongside jazz pianist Per Danielsson. It's happening at the Gallery at Avalon Island, 8:00pm; $5 suggested donation.

Saturday, February 28th

Downtown Orlando will host the 9th Annual Blues-B-Q this Saturday from 4:00 to 10:00pm, featuring live music (including a performance by Betty Wright) and lots of food and drink vendors.

Well, this is awkward... Winter Garden is having its own Blues & BBQ festival this Saturday from 4:00 to 10:00pm. Enjoy some live music with beer and BBQ available for purchase.

Back in Downtown Orlando, The Great Orlando Craft Beer Festival is taking place at Wall Street Plaza this Saturday from 3:00 to 7:00pm. Try 15 unique brews and don't miss the after-party with live music. Get your $20 tickets online, because they'll be $30 at the door!

If you're looking for a quieter way to spend a Saturday, check out the Intuitive Photography Walkabout at the beautiful Dickson Azalea Park. $5, all levels. 

Sunday, March 1st

This edition of Uncomfortable Brunch at Will's Pub features Enter the Void, a psychedelic movie about life, death, and drugs, set in Tokyo. Check it out Sunday at noon, 18+, $10 for movie and brunch.

For a more comfortable brunch, visit Casa Feliz in Winter Park for Music at the Casa, this Sunday from noon to 3:00pm. Live music by classical guitarist Brian Hayes, a tour of the estate, and light refreshments; free but donations appreciated.

History buff alert: 1913: Seeds of Conflict is a documentary that "explores the divergent social forces growing in Palestine before World War I." Catch it this Sunday at noon at the Enzian, along with a Q&A with the director hosted by WMFE's The Three Wise Guys; tickets are $10. 

What are you up to this weekend, Orlando? Leave a comment!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Orlando Weekend Preview: February 20th - 22nd, 2015

Photo by Tina Craig
Weekend Events

This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday is Ralphfest 4, a three-day music festival at different venues around town. Tons of bands, band reunions, Sunday BBQ, and more.

Fashion, entertainment, interior design, and bourbon tastings (?) come together at the Orlando Museum of Art's Antiques, Vintage & Garden Show this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 

For even more antiques and some potentially strange finds, don't miss Renninger's Antiques and Collectors Extravaganza this weekend in Mount Dora; tickets are between $4 and $15 depending on the day(s).

This Saturday and Sunday, the Downtown Food & Wine Fest will feature 30 food vendors, 10 wine stations, and plenty of live music and activities; tickets start at $15 online and $20 at the gates.

Friday, February 20th

A lot of our Weekend Events start this Friday, including Ralphfest, the Antiques, Vintage & Garden Show, and Renninger's. It's also the last weekend of the Osceola County Fair, going on through Sunday.

Saturday, February 21st

EuroJam 2015 is Central Florida's largest European-only car show, happening this Saturday from 9:00am; tickets start at $5. 

The 15th Annual Orlando Wetlands Festival is a free event at one of our favorite parks, going on this Saturday from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Check out the schedule for tours, activities, workshops, prizes, and music. 

Feeling retro? Then don't miss The Orlando (Afternoon) Shuffle this Saturday from 3:00 to 5:00pm; free, equipment provided. 

So, lent kind of already started, but that's not keeping Sanford from partying. Sanford Mardi Gras takes over downtown Sanford this Saturday, from 11:00am to 6:00pm.  

Brookhaven Spring Market is your chance to meet some of Orlando's finest makers and vintage curators, including leather craftsmen, jewelry designers, and more. (In a similar vein, have you checked out Yelp's Orlando Made?) 

$15 gets you into Science Night Live! at the Science Center, including presentations, labs, movies, and trivia, with food and drink for purchase. 

Sunday, February 22nd

Photo by Tina Craig

Happy Lunar New Year! Come out and celebrate at the Dragon Parade and Lunar New Year Festival, happening this Sunday from 11:00am to 5:00pm at Fashion Square Mall. There will be dancing, acrobatics, food, crafts, music, and more at this free event.

Our favorite way to take in all that is the Oscars is at the Enzian. The Oscar Watch Party starts at 7:30pm, but you'll want to get in line at least 30-45 minutes before then to get a good table. Rewatch the nominees, because you can win some great prizes! 

Dog people, listen up: Puppy Love Dog Festival is the place to get dog portraits, puppy caricatures, and canine-specific items, this Sunday starting at noon at the acre. 

A great way to introduce your kids to gambling is Superhero Sunday: Bingo Hosted by Spider-Man, happening at the Acme Superstore from 2:00 to 4:00pm. 

What are you up to this weekend? Leave a comment!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

In Photos: Daybreak Coffee in Titusville

Photo by Nate Robinson
This post originally appeared on Abeja de Café, an Orlando-based blog covering local craft coffee and the global production network.

Not to be all Charlton Heston about it, but are there many things better than waking up with a hot cup of joe to watch the sun rise? Good coffee is arguably a relatively new development in America, but the ritual has been around for generations. Maybe you remember the Folger’s commercials from the '90s taking place in the Smoky Mountains teeming with images of steam and soft sunlight, super-blocky plaid shirts, faces way too fresh. Decidedly cornball. Of course, today we all understand that Folger’s might as well be brewed with leftover hot dog water.

That doesn’t mean in 2015 we can’t get up in the black of early morning to enjoy the good coffee and natural beauty we have right under our noses here in Central Florida. See for yourself! Here are some pointers from out shoot in Titusville on how to do coffee for two in the great outdoors:

Portable Gas Range 

Photo by Nate Robinson
You can get these for pretty cheap, as low as $25 on the internet with replacement butane canisters at about $2/piece. These will take up half of your baggage space if you’re hiking. If you are on foot, you might choose the stealthy option with a top-of-the-line Jet Boil. This is more pricey, but you will feel pretty badass.


Photo by Nate Robinson
The Hario V60 Buono Kettle is the industry standard with a capacity up to 34 oz and slender spout for controlled pouring. At the risk of kicking up a few grinds in the coffee bed we chose the kettle pictured, because it’s pretty, no? The only real consequence of a little ‘turbulence’ is a heartier cup, which can be pleasant first thing in the morning.

A Liter of Water (About 34 oz)

Photo by Nate Robinson
You will only use around a half a liter in the process of brewing 16 ounces, use the other half to heat up mugs pre-pour so as not to transfer heat from the brew to your mug. A little extra hot water helps to do a quick clean of materials once the brewing is done.

1 ½ oz of Roasted Coffee

Photo by Nate Robinson
For this trip we chose Kansas-based PT’s Coffee. Not a Florida roaster, we know, but PT’s sourced these beans through a direct-trade relationship they’ve built in El Salvador. Sergio Ticas, the President of the Salvadoran Coffee Grower’s Association, reserved this particular lot to be managed and harvested by the women of Finca Los Planes. More about that here.

Hand Grinder with Steel Burrs

Photo by Nate Robinson
This will ensure an even grind size, arguably the most important part to brewing an evenly extracted coffee. We recommend Porlex for a good quality grinder at a modest price.

Digital Pocket Scale

Photo by Nate Robinson
Make sure your brew ratios are on point. Decent scales help you monitor proper dosage and water flow. They can run as low as $10. To be a true blue specialty coffee drinker you will want to get comfortable with grams as your standard unit of measure. Don’t be afraid; here are some tips.
Water: 500 grams of water = 500 milliliters water = 16.9 fluid ounces.
Dry Grounds Tip (V60): 1.25 oz = 36 grams. Requires 500 grams of water. Makes for 15 oz of hot coffee.

V60 Drip Cone with Filter

Photo by Nate Robinson
V60 will take up a little more space in your knapsack, but the deliciousness is worth the extra care. In under 4 minutes of brewing, you will have a cup worthy of your neighborhood specialty coffee shop all in the fresh, open air. (Remember to bring a waste bag for used coffee filters.)

For pourovers, you want to use a large size mug to catch the contents from start to finish. If you’re using two smaller mugs make sure to mix the two. Don’t fill either with the first or second half of the brew. They will taste different.

…Or There is Always Aeropress!

Photo by Nate Robinson
If you really want to keep light on your feet bring the Aeropress. It will make for a great cup and it’s quick and easy. We recommend using the re-usable wire mesh filters from Kohi.

Helpful Add-Ons

Thermometer. This way you can ensure that the brewing temp stays between 201-205 Fahrenheit, the ideal temp for pourover. Inverted Aeropress can be slightly lower temp but be careful about dipping below 195F. If a thermometer isn’t handy, make sure you don’t wait too long to brew after the water has reached a boil, especially if it is chilly in the morning.

To keep track of your brewing time and measurements download the KOHI app to your phone. It will walk you through time & dosage amount depending on brewing method.

Whichever method you choose and no matter the setting, always remember to enjoy.

Jimmy Sherfey is a freelance journalist covering Slow Food in the southeastern United States and founder of Abeja de Café, where he writes about specialty coffee production in Central America. His interests include Latin-American culture, baseball, and Brazilian music from the '60s and '70s. 

Jimmy and Nate's other guest posts at theORLANDOAN include In Photos: Vespr Craft Coffee and Allures and InPhotos: Lineage Coffee Roasting.